Blockchain infrastructure company TAAL has made upgrades to its BSV blockchain mining operations, allowing it to mine blocks of up to four gigabytes (4GB) in size. This change doubles the capacity of the company’s transaction processing infrastructure and that of the BSV network.
TAAL is a publicly traded, Canada-based infrastructure company that focuses on building a microtransaction economy on the BSV network by scaling transaction throughput and data capacity. The company has already broken records for the largest block sizes ever mined on a public blockchain and doubling its maximum supported block size from 2GB to 4GB is a breakthrough upgrade that has widespread ramifications for miners and the entire BSV network.
‘The upgrade to 4GB is a breakthrough that will help everyone in the BSV ecosystem. TAAL is here to support the community and to help every BSV transaction processor to mine bigger and bigger blocks,’ says TAAL COO Lars Jorgensen.
‘That’s why we’re encouraging all miners to immediately increase their excessive block size limit to 4GB. They’ll be able to take full advantage of the node upgrade to expand their revenues and client base.’
The BSV blockchain is based on the original Bitcoin protocol and is designed to be the only public enterprise blockchain that is capable of limitless scaling and throughput. The mining of 4GB blocks marks a major step on BSV’s roadmap to delivering terabyte-sized blocks and transaction throughput unrivalled by any other blockchain or traditional data processing platform.
This block size upgrade is enabled by a recent change to the Bitcoin SV node software update, which implemented several changes aimed at improving network capacity and the usability of light-node services. To keep parity with the BSV network, miners will need to make a few adjustments to their systems to accommodate these larger block sizes.
Node update and changes for miners
The BSV blockchain is designed to scale easily, and miners must therefore only implement a straightforward parameter change to support the processing of blocks up to 4GB in size. As of January 24th, all BSV miners are advised to update their node software settings to support these larger blocks.
The official documentation available on the BitcoinSV.io website advises that BSV blockchain miners should carefully consider this change and update their settings to ensure they do not unnecessarily create competing blocks.
This change is accomplished by adjusting the ‘excessiveblocksize’ configuration value in the node software’s Bitcoin configuration file to 4GB or greater. Now that 4GB blocks can be mined on the network, a miner whose software defines an ‘excessiveblocksize’ value of less than 4GB will reject valid blocks larger than this value.
The maximum script memory usage field should also be updated by both miners and non-miners to reflect this greater block capacity and prevent possible conflicts with other nodes.
Non-miners should also check that their configuration has an ‘excessiveblocksize’ that is greater than 4GB. If the recommendations below have been followed, then no change to the configuration should be needed.
|Safe Values||Maximum block size||Maximum script memory usage|
‘It doesn’t take any more power or energy to mine a 2GB block or a 4GB block,’ Jorgensen notes, adding that further technical restrictions on maximum block size can be lifted by continuing to adjust the parameters mentioned above as the throughput capacity of the BSV blockchain continues to grow.
‘You must continue to upgrade the software and parameters, and TAAL is leading the way on these scaling efforts as we firmly believe in the enterprise value and utility BSV has to offer.’
For more information on how to implement this node software change and ensure support for 4GB blocks, miners and listening node operators can consult the official miner documentation on the BitcoinSV.io website.
Unbounded scaling and low transaction fees
The BSV blockchain is the only public blockchain capable of infinite scaling, as demonstrated by its steadily growing transaction throughput – a performance improvement which is realised by these regular advances in maximum block size. Larger blocks lead directly to more transactions processed each second, and therefore more transaction fee rewards for miners.
This means that unlike other blockchain protocols with artificially limited block sizes, the BSV blockchain maintains low transaction fees and processing times while improving rewards for miners as adoption of the network grows. Its underlying protocol is stable and reliable, allowing these types of performance improvements to be implemented quickly and easily through simply raising the maximum block size.
‘With the core design of the Bitcoin protocol being locked in during the version 1.0 release, BSV is now at a point where its continuous improvement cycles are focused on performance and scale to meet the growing need of enterprise and application development demand,’ Jorgensen says.
‘The block size increase is valuable in the sense that any application developer to enterprise organization can maintain operating on the same protocol and at the same low fees, but the throughput for data processing and transaction processing capacity has significantly increased.’
This true layer-one scalability is a unique trait within the blockchain ecosystem, one which makes the BSV blockchain perfectly suited to support applications and businesses that need a scalable and reliable platform with low transaction fees and a reliable underlying protocol. Unlike many other blockchain protocols, BSV can scale to meet any demand while ensuring fees remain low and the economics of executing smart contracts remain viable.
‘This is especially attractive when comparing system capabilities against other protocols on the market,’ Jorgensen explains.
‘Business owners and operators building on blockchain want faster, cheaper, better, bigger. Transaction fees for data processing on the BSV blockchain will continue to stay low so these operators can build value-added services at a decent rate for consumers and at a healthy margin for the operators.’
Economic incentives and user impact
As the security of the BSV blockchain depends on its miners, which are in turn driven by economic incentives, it is important to ask whether this increase in maximum block size will affect these incentives.
With each maximum block size increase on the BSV network, the economic incentives that drive mining operations become stronger due to the reduced reliance on block subsidy rewards. As the BSV network is based on the original Bitcoin protocol, it includes a block subsidy when each new block is mined. This subsidy mints a predefined number of new satoshis which are rewarded to the block’s miner.
This subsidy was never designed to be the primary reward for miners, however, as is demonstrated by the fact that the number of new satoshis minted halves roughly every four years. This design constitutes a ‘tapering-off’ of subsidised block rewards as transaction volume grows, with the eventual outcome being that the transaction fees awarded to miners should far outweigh the remaining block subsidy – thus ensuring a sustainable and low-cost transaction network that can continue to scale indefinitely.
Jorgensen points out that the BSV network has already seen transaction fees awarded to miners surpass the block subsidy at block height 700606 in August 2021.
‘We believe miners would choose BSV as the implementation of choice because it will ensure them the most long-term profitability from earning fees from transaction processing in addition to block subsidy,’ he says.
‘We saw example of this in 2021, when blocks were mined that included varying levels of transactions, however the fees earned from transaction processing surpassed the block subsidy.’
‘Block subsidy will continue to reduce by half every four years, so it is in the best interest for all BSV miners to adjust their settings and install the mAPI implementation to compete in this new transactional economy that is growing on top of this open, public, global blockchain.’
Looking beyond the effects of this block size increase on miners and network economics, what do 4GB blocks on the BSV blockchain mean to users of BSV-based applications?
The answer is continued stability and efficiency at a greater scale than any other public blockchain protocol on the market. To users, the block size increase is simply a back-end technological change that improves the ability of the BSV network to scale and that of miners to earn money from validating more transactions each second.
‘Consumers of BSV based apps should not worry about any of this. They should just see a wave of cool apps that are ready to use, without the complexities of the tech,’ Jorgensen explains.
‘These increases to data throughput should keep the operating costs for business owners low so they don’t have to push any additional fees to the end user.’
As the BSV blockchain functions as the ‘plumbing’ behind user-facing applications, users need only concern themselves with the applications and services built on top of the network, and they can remain confident that the low transaction fees and fast processing times they have come to rely on will only improve.